When you look at nine-year-old Averi Doktorczyk's growing collection of gymnastics trophies, you would think that she's one of those athletes who was blessed with inherent, supernatural ability in her chosen sport.
All totaled, Averi has been awarded 32 medals, including 10 first-place and six second-place honors. On November 7, 2011, Averi placed first in her level at the California State South Sectional, receiving the highest score out of nearly 500 competitors. Pretty impressive for someone whose competitive gymnastics career is only nine months old and spans a total of just eight competitions. But for a girl who is racking up awards with seeming ease, the road to this point has been anything but easy.
As with any sport, talent and timing are chief aspects to excelling at gymnastics. Although Averi first took up the sport at 18 months old and has attended Southern California Elite Gymnastics Academy in Temecula, California, since the age of three, her former classmates excelled at a pace far greater than Averi's, moving up to the competitive level 1–2 seasons before she did.
"It was hard watching the other kids sail past her," says Jolene Doktorczyk, Averi's mother and MonaVie Emerald Executive. "There were times when I would ask her if she wanted to do other sports. The answer always came back 'no.'"
While Averi was battling to overcome her obstacles in the gym, her parents Jolene and Ryan were joining forces to fight their own battle—one that's become all too familiar for families across the country.
"When we were first introduced to MonaVie, the sole source of income for our family was real estate," Jolene says. "And, as everyone knows, the real estate industry was one of the first and hardest hit by the recession. Without the income from our MonaVie business, Averi's dreams would have died three years ago."
With MonaVie handling the financial part, Averi handled her part by having a strong work ethic in practice and staying determined and focused on improving her skills. In 2010, her hard work finally paid off as she got her opportunity to join the competitive team. Her accomplishments since then speak for themselves, and she was recently invited into TOPs (Talent Opportunity Program), which is designed to train select athletes at a faster pace for higher level competition.
Jolene says the fact that MonaVie has enabled her daughter to continue the sport she loves is not lost on Averi. In fact, Jolene says that Averi and her sister Savannah are two of the most fearless unofficial distributors she's ever seen.
"When things were just getting started for us they would say, 'Come on, mom, we need to go to the park and meet some people to get in our business,'" Jolene recalls. "They would talk to everyone about MonaVie."
Averi's enthusiasm for sharing MonaVie extends to her gymnastics team as well. When her Elite coaches joked that any and all snacks brought into the gym had to be shared with the staff, Averi quickly saw an opportunity and seized it.
"She shared the MonaVie RVL Snack Bars and is now trading bars for private lessons," Jolene says. "We've even signed one of her coaches on as a distributor by sharing the new MonaVie Perks program."
In addition to providing the funds to keep her competing, MonaVie has made an impact on the fourth-grader's health. During the winter season, while many of her teammates are sidelined for weeks with the flu, Averi has enjoyed interruption-free practices and training with the aid of MonaVie (M)mūn. Jolene says that Averi's crown jewel is the chocolate berry MonaVie RVL Shake and RVL Snack Bars.
"Gymnasts burn so many calories," she says, "and RVL is the answer for high-quality nutrition to meet the demands of her workouts."
Averi is currently preparing for the 2011 State Championships, November 19–20. Her long-term goals are to go to college on a full scholarship, make the U.S. National Team, compete in the Olympics, and one day open a gym of her own. Jolene is as proud as a mother can be of her daughter's ambition and drive. But, she says the quality of person that Averi is developing into is far more valuable than any tangible success she attains—an attribute that was demonstrated no better than at a recent Sectional meet.
A special perk that SCEGA gives to the team's top scorer for each level is the privilege of taking home the team trophy for the weekend. When one of Averi's friends made it into the "37 club" (an extremely difficult feat of earning an all-around score of 37 or higher) at this particular meet, Averi was so genuinely thrilled for her that she let her friend take the team trophy home for one of the two nights that Averi was entitled to.
"We can all agree that winning is cool," Jolene says. "But, character is priceless."
Click here to stay updated on Averi Doktorczyk's competitions and scoring.